Publication Date

Fall 1969

Document Type



Published in Grace Journal, 10:3, Fall 1969.


Many attempts have been made to identify and demonstrate the significance of the figure “Immanuel" in the writings of Isaiah. His name appears in 7:14; 8:8; 8:10. It is interesting that children play an important role in these chapters which deal with the virgin's son, the birth of Maher-shalal-hash-baz and the child who will rule on David's throne.

Early interpreters preferred a "messianic" fulfillment, but the bulk of critical commenators in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries denied the "messianic" interpretation of the Immanuel passage. Soon, conservative writers began to take a dual-fulfillment viewpoint in an attempt to reconcile the arguments of both.1 Today, the general opinion is still quite mixed. Only Edward J. Young has written a major commentary in support of the strictly "messianic" in the past half-century.

The "Book of Immanuel" covers 7:1-12:6.3 Two questions are prominent in the interpretation of this passage: 1) Who is Immanuel? 2) Did Isaiah consider him to be already present in the land? Undoubtedly the most detail on him is given in chapter seven. Therefore, it is obvious that a proper interpretation necessitates a careful study of the 7:14 section.